Friday, February 1, 2013

Fleeting Memory: Review and Giveaway

My mother was an avid reader of mysteries, and I'd often wish I could emulate her in this regard.  I think she would have written an incredible mystery novel herself, had she ever attempted to write one.  (If there's a community of mystery writers in the great beyond, my mom may be at a book signing table right now.)  Although I long to be more acquainted with the work of Agatha Christie and other mystery writers, I must admit that I've not read many mysteries myself, although I loved the Encyclopedia Brown series as a child, and adore The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, more recently.  After encountering the term 'cozy mystery' on many book blogs, I became interested in this genre.  I envisioned myself reading them, "cozily" wrapped in my Snuggie on a cool evening, hot mug of tea at my side (a bit clichéd, perhaps, but still a pleasant image for me).  For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, cozy mysteries or "cozies", according to one of my favorite online "dictionaries", Wikipedia, are a sub-genre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated in a humorous way.


Talk about an identity crisis!  Published in 2011, Fleeting Memory, the first book in the Enescu Fleet series by Sherban Young, is the story of a young man who loses his memory.  I've just finished reading this book, which is a cozy mystery or a "mystery caper".  The protagonist in this story has a major problem.  He doesn't know who he is, or even remember what his name is.  All he knows is that he has a penchant for mysterious blondes, and that he thinks he's seen a dead body at the rustic cabin where he's staying.  He's not sure what's going on, but he keeps hoping to run into the blond girl with the stirring green eyes again, who also appears to be lost in the woods (literally).  Luckily, the young man encounters a helpful older man with twinkling blue eyes, Enescu Fleet, who just happens to be a retired detective.

The definition of cozy mystery fits this book perfectly.  Although fighting and dead bodies appear in Fleeting Memory, the book is filled with much humor and is quite clever, and I relished the antics and the author's witty words.

"Careful not to add my fingerprints to the evidence--I wasn't a complete moron--I poked the glasses into place with my trusty pen and slid the scarf down.  His face was mustached, ruddy in complexion and quite rough, like burgundy sandpaper.  I liked mine better.  I didn't recognize him (no shocker there) and for a minute I sat back on my heels, wondering who could have killed him and why.  He seemed like a decent type, for a corpse."
~Fleeting Memory, Sherban Young

Toward the end of Fleeting Memory, the word 'eponymous' is used, which seems to be a good adjective to keep in mind while reading this book.  Names and identity are important in this story, starting with the title, Fleeting Memory, which refers to both the main character's actual memory loss and to the name of the detective, Enescu Fleet.  I won't reveal more here, but there are numerous "little name things" and clues to note, scattered throughout the book.  For as long as I can remember (pun intended), I've been a "name person"; I notice names, so this aspect of the book resonated with me.

Instead of reading this book inside, wearing my silly Snuggie, I read much of the book outside, soaking up a bit of winter sun (don't hate me because I live in Southern California).  It was quite enjoyable to pass the time in this way.  Like the main character in the story, at times I didn't really know what was going on, or what was going to happen next, and there are numerous twists and turns which made the book even more amusing.  I loved the main characters in this mystery and want to spend more time with them--especially now that I know their names and identities. The next book in the series is Fleeting Glance, which I look forward to reading.  Hopefully, as is always the case when I do read mysteries, I'll hone my own detective skills a bit in the process.

Special thanks to author Sherban Young, who sent me complimentary copies of Fleeting Memory and Fleeting Glance--and many matching bookmarks.  He also gave me an extra copy of Fleeting Memory, to give away to one lucky reader (U.S./Canada only).
  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
  • For one extra chance, name a cozy mystery you've enjoyed reading.

Enter by 5 PM PST on Monday, February 11.  One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, February 12.  Good luck!


  1. I read this book a few months ago and enjoyed it. I'm glad to see you also enjoyed it.

    1. Gigi Ann, I remember that you read this mystery, and your review helped lead me to this book. :)

  2. This sounds good. I have it on my review list to read.

    1. Yvonne, I think you'd enjoy the "cozies" by this author. :)

  3. Great review Suko! I certainly have heard of Sherban Young and his books. I'm glad you enjoyed Fleeting Memory, it sounds like a nice mystery.
    If you do read A. Christie, I recommend her Poirot mysteries. I liked Murder on the Orient Express and Hercule Poirot's Christmas :)
    Yes, I am slightly jealous that you live in sunny Southern California, it was 9 degrees when I left for work in the morning the other day. I think if I sat to read outside now, I'd be a popsicle in a few minutes.

    1. Naida, your last sentence made me laugh. Thank you! :)

  4. I am captivated by this book and your great review. thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. This sounds fascinating and special. Would love it. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  6. Thanks so much for the great review, Suko.

    I love that you mentioned the name convention. There's quite a lot of that in Fleeting Glance as well. I suppose I must like that theme as well.

    By the way, if you like solve-it-yourself style mysteries, the game show featured in Fleeting Memory, Deadly Allusions, is also a book. Just like the game show, the collection features short cultural mysteries, of varying themes: literature, music, word origins, etc. The Fleet books, you may have noticed, also focus on a theme, both in story line and the puzzles featured. Memory was the literature book, Glance is about art.

    1. Sherban, I enjoyed the many literary references in Fleeting Memory (I am a book blogger, after all). I did not realize, until I read your comment, that Fleeting Glance is art related (makes sense!), or that Deadly Allusions, the game show in the book, is also a book. Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. Your mom had great taste in books!

    So many cozies to choose from, but I'' go with Mary Stewart's Madam, Will You Talk.

  8. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one! I love cozy mysteries even if I don't read them enough :) And I'm a HUGE fan of Agatha Christie! One day I plan on reading all of her books! Great review!

  9. No need to enter me, as I don't read many mysteries. I'm glad to see you enjoyed it. I'm not a fan of the cover, but it does scream "cozy mystery."

  10. I like a lot to read mystery books anf adore too "The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency". I don't hate you for the sun : it's the same here.... with snow.


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